The Ultimate Guide to Electrical Safety
Electricity, albeit an invisible force, is one of the most important elements underpinning our modern lifestyles. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to power up our computers, ride on the train, or watch a DVD. While obtaining professional electrical services is advised if you have any doubts, these tips for safety are a good starting point to ensuring electrical safety anywhere – at home or in the outdoors.
1. General Safety Around the House
Hundreds of Australians have been hurt or injured because of unsafe electrical hazards around the house. A little bit of electrical maintenance can make a big difference. If we do take the time to look, how many of us can tell the difference between a worn and a well-maintained wire? A licensed electrician can assist with identifying faulty wires and potential hazards.
- Appliances. Keep appliances clean will prevent build-up and accumulation of food scraps. These can adversely affect the function of appliances.
- Power and extension cords. Use extension cords with care by not closing doors or sitting heavy furniture items over them. This can cause damage. Make sure all power cords are fully unwound to avoid overheating.
- Overloading power points. Avoid overloading power points with piggy-back extenders. Use power boards or install extra power points as required.
- Unplugging appliances. Turn appliances off before removing the plug.
- Temperature extremes. Keep appliances protected against temperature extremes.
Care also needs to be taken when using electricity outdoors.
- Powerlines. Keep flying toys, such as miniature planes, kites, or other toys away from powerlines. Take care when carrying poles or ladders, near powerlines.
- Trimming trees. Keep away from powerlines when trimming trees. If you need to trim a tree next to a powerline, get your electricity company to do it.
- Proximity to water. Don’t use electrical appliances near swimming pools or spas.
- DIY electricity maintenance. Don’t be tempted to perform DIY electricity maintenance. Always have a licensed electrician do the job.
2. Safety During Extreme Weather
During storms and extreme weather, use these tips to keep safe.
- Fallen powerlines. Stay away from fallen powerlines. Keep safe indoors.
- Preparation. Before a storm, secure loose objects and trim trees to reduce the chance of damage.
- Potential hazards. Potential loose objects that can cause damage to wiring include loose roofing, overgrown trees, garden debris, outdoor furniture, and hardware tools.
- Lightening. Avoid potential injury from lightening with surge protectors. You may also disconnect modems and power leads, and avoid making calls during a lightening storm.
- After the storm. After a storm, move around carefully and stay aware of loose branches or debris overhead.
Avoid using the landline during electrical storms as accidents have resulted from this in the past.
3. Safety Tips for Businesses
In most states and territories, business owners have a duty to make sure electrical equipment and installations are safe and secure for use. Some of the things businesses owners must do to ensure safety may include:
- Regular testing and inspection of equipment and cords;
- Retiring malfunctioning equipment;
- Use power boards with safety switches and overload protection settings; or
- Having additional sockets installed if required.